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The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund recognized as a leader for responsible investment

19 August 2022

The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) ranked first on the leaders list in the 2021-2022 Responsible Asset Allocator Initiative (RAAI) Index and Leaders List Report.

“I am very proud of this ranking, which recognizes the Fund’s leadership in responsible investing. It is also a well-deserved recognition, as the Fund’s achievements in this area stem from the strong conviction and action by all the Office of Investment Management’s teams. The Fund has deployed tremendous efforts over the past years, divesting from carbon-emitting investments and adopting best practices in sustainable investment. The Fund wants to lead by example in this area, and this is also what this ranking is about,” stated Pedro Guazo, Representative of the Secretary-General for the investment of the UNJSPF assets.

The Fund’s volume of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of the equities and corporate bonds portfolio has been reduced by more than 30% since 2019, ahead of the schedule set by the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, of which the UNJSPF is a member. By 2025, the Fund has committed to reduce the carbon footprint of its investments by 40 per cent compared to the 2019 level. In March this year, the UN Pension Fund released its first report explaining how it addresses the challenges caused by climate change in its investment activities.

UNJSPF has been rated as a Leader in the RAAI Index since 2017 and jumped to first place in 2021-2022 from place 23 in the 2019 ranking.

With a focus on mobilizing capital from the world’s largest asset allocators toward responsible investing and the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Responsible Asset Allocator Initiative partners with the Fletcher School at Tufts University of the United States to develop the RAAI Index.

“The RAAI Index analyzes how the world’s largest long-term investors, including sovereign wealth funds and government pension funds, are developing strategies to manage critical environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues along 10 core principles and 30 detailed criteria,” according to the RAAI report.

“The 30 asset allocators on the Leaders List were the top scorers in a rigorous evaluation process that examined 251 public pension and sovereign wealth funds, with AUM (assets under management) of over $26 trillion. UNJSPF finished with a score of 100%, ranking 1st among all asset allocators,” stated Scott Kalb, Founder and Director of the Responsible Asset Allocator Initiative, in his letter informing the Fund about the ranking.

For the 2021-2022 RAAI Index ranking, all contenders went through a comprehensive assessment. An asset allocator needs to reach a minimum score of 96 per cent to become one of the top 30 Leaders. In addition to UNJSPF, 15 other asset allocators scored 100 per cent, including AIMCo, APG, ATP, Aware Super, BCI, Caisse des Depots Group, CDP, ERAFP, LGPS Central, NBIM, NZSF, NYSCRF, Pension Danmark, PGGM and UniSuper.

“The RAAI Index and Leaders List Report is the only comprehensive study of the responsible investing practices of the world's largest asset owners,” added Mr. Kalb.

UNJSPF investments are managed by the Office of Investment Management, which reports to the United Nations Secretary-General through his Representative for the investment of the assets of the Fund.

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